Emissions in Prague Exceed European Limits and Are Harmful to Health, Warn Experts

prague smog

With an enormous number of cars in Prague, experts worry about the impact it will have not only on transport but also on the climate and human health.

With the issue of health and safety is at the forefront of public debate, experts are now looking for solutions to reduce emissions and improve the current unsatisfactory situation where it exceeds the limits.

A new study by Atmosphere magazine warns that the number of emissions in Prague exceeds the limits recommended by the WHO and the European Union.

Miroslav Šuta, a doctor and expert from the Center for the Environment and Health, told Czech Radio Plus that the measurements took place in various places in Prague, and he considers the surroundings of the Blanka tunnel or the busy V Holešovičkách Street to be the most problematic places in the city.

For Dr. Radim Šrám, Chairman of the Commission for the Environment of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the danger persists even with concentrations below the applicable European limits or below the WHO recommended values.

He points out that analysis from Spain and Scandinavia show that even lower concentrations can affect the development of the nervous system in children.

“They can probably also contribute to the development of so-called neuro-degenerative diseases in the elderly, ” he says.

The city must strive to improve the situation, mainly for the health of its inhabitants.

The recommendation to tighten European guidelines is also confirmed by a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

It states that if the current levels of air pollution in cities were reduced to the level recommended by the WHO, up to 50,000 deaths across European cities could be prevented.

In the Czech Republic, it is the enormous number of cars experts warn is reflected in the air.

“Almost 1 million passenger cars are registered in the territory of Prague alone – and, of course, motorists outside Prague still drive to Prague,” said Bedřich Rathouský from the Department of Logistics at the University of Economics for the EURACTIV.cz server.

According to the European Environment Agency, 73% of emissions from road transport are caused by passenger cars, so if any drastic measures need to be taken, it is primarily against passenger cars.

One of the steps to achieve this is to change from cars to trams, or preferably to bicycles.

In Prague, Coronavirus measures have made a significant contribution to the growth of cycling.

Another solution to air pollution in cities is electric cars. In the coming years, low-emission vehicles will play a leading role on European roads.

In the Czech Republic, the popularity of electric cars is gradually growing, and the capital is trying to motivate residents by purchasing chargers available directly from public lighting poles.

Prague is now also developing a so-called e-carsharing project, which will increase the number of shared cars on its territory and support the city’s electromobility.

Other solutions such as Rail transport will play a major role in the European Union’s plans to meet climate goals.

However, the situation in the Czech Republic does not look very favorable as the modernization of the railways will require a lot of resources.

 

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